Italian gas network operator Snam announced on May 19 that he conducted with his partners the“ world's first test ”of a natural gas mixture with 30% hydrogen in a steelmaking process at the GIVA steel plant in northern Italy.
The test involved using a hydrogen gas mixture to heat the furnaces of the Forgiatura A. Vienna plant near Milan, according to a joint statement by Snam, GIVA and certification company RINA.
According to the test participants, the use of a mixture of hydrogen and gas did not require any modifications to the installation and did not affect either the equipment used or the characteristics of the final heat-treated product.
“In the medium to long term, hydrogen can be the solution to decarburize steelmaking and all industrial sectors that are difficult to manage,” said Snam CEO Marco Alvera.
“This test is a preparatory phase for the gradual introduction of zero-emission hydrogen, first blended with natural gas and then pure, in some steelmaking processes,” he stressed.
Alvera stated that Snam intends to provide its infrastructure, research and expertise to create a national hydrogen supply chain in Italy.
Snam is increasingly keen to adapt its business to hydrogen and says 70% of its Italian network is ready for hydrogen production and will have no problem handling hydrogen blends.
It is estimated that the continued use of 30% green hydrogen from renewable energy sources in the total gas consumed by the three GIVA Group forging plants for their industrial processes will result in reduced CO emissions 2 by about 15,000 tons per year.
The mixture of natural gas and hydrogen was supplied by the Italian company Sapio, specializing in the production and sale of industrial and medical gases.